What Are Beetles?
The Basics. Beetles are an insect that makes up a quarter of all species in the animal kingdom (there are over 350,000 species of beetles that have been discovered with more being found each year). They eat anything from plants to insects to animals to the garbage lying around. Some are small, but some grow to be as long as your hand.
While they can be extremely beneficial to the ecosystem of forests, we can say, from personal experience, that we do not find them entirely good company around the dinner table.
When Should I Worry About Beetles?
Beetles usually come into your home to escape the cold so during fall and winter is when you’re going to have to keep and eye for beetles in your home.
Should I really... be worried about beetles?
Great question. It's easy to think of beetles as harmless, but the reality of it is that there are different types of beetles which can cause some serious damage if left unchecked. The three basic groups of beetles are: 1) Fabric-infesting beetles, 2) Food product beetles, 3) wood-destroying beetles.
Wood-destroying beetles, in particular, an cause serious damage to structural timber, wooden fittings, furniture and other items in and around homes or buildings. Within Northern California you're likely to find the following:
- Deathwatch Beetle - Xestobium rufovillosum if anyone asks. These are wood-boring beetles that often can be heard through a tapping or ticking sound that they make on wood.
- Bark Beetles - This beetle can get into the woods surrounding a home and quickly strip tree's of it's protective layer of bark weakening the tree.
- Powderpost Beetles - This beetle is extremely adept at destroying dry wood, coming in only behind the termite for sheer destructive capabilities.
These are the three more common types of beetles that you may find locally, but just know that there are plenty more out there within Humboldt and Del Norte County.
All of these beetles can all cause damage to a building which can increase the danger to any occupants inside, by opening the door to other pests as well as simply increasing the likely hood of structural integrity issues, and even increase the risk of fire damage.
How Do I Know if I Have an Infestation?
Here are some simple methods for helping you determine if you have a beetle infestation.
- Damaged wood. Some beetles, depending on the species, prefer to make their homes in wood. Wood damage will be similar to termite damage and this can often lead to confusion in trying to figure out if you're not trained how to do so. If you see damaged wood, specifically wood that is a part of your home, do not hesitate to call a pest inspector immediately. It's always better to resolve and tackle any wood-destroying pests as quickly as possible, as the cost of delay can be enormous.
- Damaged food. Everything eats. If there is a beetle infestation in your home, they’ll be chewing their way through cardboard and plastic bags to find food. Routinely checking pantries to ensure they are clean of crumbs, as well as to check the food is stored in safe containers is highly recommended - not just for beetles.
- The beetles themselves. A single beetle isn’t a sign of an infestation. They come in through firewood, pots, even on your shoes. However, if you are seeing several beetles consistently, then there may be a problem and they might have even already found a way into your home. Finding beetles constantly indoors should be a sign to call a pest inspector to help find the entry points and examine any damage that they may have caused which may not immediately be visible.
How Can I Prevent Beetle Infestations?
There are some simple, but extremely effective methods for preventing a beetle infestation. It's worth noting that they are best done regularly as a means of consistently caring for your home.
- Properly storing food. While beetles are clever, they cannot break into containers and fridges that are properly sealed and stored. Preventing them from accessing any food to ensure that they won’t stay even if your house is warm.
- Sealing entryways. Making sure that your home is properly sealed and dealing with any cracks or holes will go a long way in preventing beetles from scurrying into your home to escape the cold.
- Remove hiding sanctuaries. Beetles often seek out areas within homes to avoid the cold weather. Make sure to properly check any outdoor firewood & lumber, furniture, potted plants or even packages that may be outside for a long period of time.
- Remove damaged/infested materials. If beetles have found their way into a material, wood or even clothing, it's is often the best solution to simply remove and destroy the item. Do not try and salvage something on your own, without expert care to ensure that the item can be made safe after an infestation.
- Safety Perimeter - Out and around your home, you should create a safety barrier between your home and any sanctuaries that may invest beetles (or other pests) to enter your home. For firewood stores, these should be away from the walls of your house, otherwise, they can act to attract beetles which can then quickly jump to the walls of your home.
Can I Treat This Myself? When Do I Need to Call Someone?
Single beetles can be dealt with by taking them outside of squishing them. But if you are constantly finding beetles in and around your home, we would recommend calling a professional - Humboldt Termite and Pest Control included - for an inspection as there may be more damage being done then is visually apparent to the untrained eye. A simple inspection can help determine the scope of the infestation and the potential damage that they may be causing quickly.
While we cannot recommend trying to tackle a beetle infestation without professional treatments there are often beetle poisons that can be extremely effective at preventing beetles from setting up shop in your yard. As a word of caution though, whenever making use of poisonous chemicals, be extremely careful with the solution around a family home, for the safety of the humans but also for any pets that may make use of the yard.
How do we resolve beetle infestations?
At Humboldt Pest, we provide a variety of treatment options that will take care of your beetle problem and give you the peace of mind of you deserve.
- Step 1: Identification – We’ll determine the extent of the beetle infestation and provide you with a variety of strategies and options for resolving the pest problem.
- Step 2: Eradication & Restoration – We’ll treat the infestation quickly and effectively with the best products to keep your family and pets safe, and then we will help provide restoration solutions for any damage the beetles may have caused.
- Step 3: Ongoing Prevention – We’ll help keep your home beetle free today, tomorrow, and any day after that.
Remember! We offer a warranty on all of our services. If the pests come back, so do we. No extra charge. We are confident that the service we provide will keep beetles away. So rest easy, we're on the job.